The Missing Pieces

Chatteris’ own Annie Benzie and Adam Bennett discuss what they miss from home and from Hong Kong… 

What does Annie miss from home?

Getting on the plane home for Christmas, I was already excited for all the things that I had been missing for four months. There were, however, things that I missed that I didn’t realise until I was actually at home.

1) The food

I admit that I do love the food in Hong Kong- dumplings, rice and 7/11 noodles make up around 90% of my diet. But by December, I’d already eaten my weight in each of these and was about to crack. Luckily, over-excited for my arrival, my mum already had 15 blocks of cheese sitting on the fridge shelf just waiting to be demolished. Cheese, along with a Tesco meal deal and a bottle of Bailey’s, made the long journey home entirely worth it.

2) Central Heating

It doesn’t often get cold in Hong Kong, but when it does, it’s really hard to escape. Back in the disgusting August heat, all anyone wanted was air conditioning but little did we know that central heating would have been pretty great too. Made worse by local teachers opening windows and schools that are open to the elements, the cold in Hong Kong can be depressing. In December, it was -5 degrees in Scotland, but at least you could come home and sit by the fire and forget that the Arctic had arrived at your doorstep.

3) Scottish accents

Finally, of all the things I thought I might miss, a Scottish accent definitely wasn’t one of them. However, getting off the plane, I realised that it was the first time I had been able to understand all of the conversations going on around me since I had left. Be it the teachers at school chatting away or the people beside me on the bus to work, sometimes it feels strange not understanding the locals. It felt weird at first being able to eavesdrop on the plane home but it was comforting to see no language barrier in sight.

What did Adam miss from Hong Kong? 

1) The MTR

When you spend more than a week in the vast expanse of nothingness that is the English countryside, the simplicity of travel that the Hong Kong MTR provides begins to feel like a distant paradise. Yes, it’s crowded. Yes, commuters can be mean. But more importantly, yes it can get you from work to the bar in plenty of time for happy hour.

And don’t just take my word for it. Our own wonderful Alice Sherlock dedicated an entire post on this very blog to the joys of the MTR.

2) 24-hour McDonalds 

This is a game-changer. Again, running with the theme of convenience, there are multiple McDonalds branches on pretty much every street in Hong Kong and every single one of them is open 24/7. Oh, and every single one of them does delivery.

As is so often the case, that which is terrible news for my waistline is brilliant news for my tastebuds. McDonalds in Hong Kong has some cracking ‘signature’ burgers that demand your attention- the jalapeño chicken burger is a staple for me, but some CNETs swear by the (now tragically discontinued) Tabasco beef burger. There truly is something for everyone, at any time.

3) The nighttime view from Victoria Harbour 

It just never gets old. The dense metropolis of Hong Kong island is breathtaking when seen at night- the thousands of lights offer up a sensory overload as they move and dance the evening away. There is a light show every night at 8pm, however it’s really not much more spectacular than the view already is, so don’t feel you have to arrange your plans to be there at 8.

For me, there’s nothing better than getting the (outrageously cheap) star ferry from TST into Central harbour and just gazing at the skyline as you bob up and down on the waves. Pure Hong Kong magic.


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